See this movie! The Baby Formula
Last night I watched a screener of The Baby Formula, a Canadian-made comedy about two married women who are desperate to have their own biological child. They become the first women to conceive using "female sperm" created in lab from each others' stems cells. The movie is funny, clever and provocative. AND IT OPENS THIS WEEKEND, timed to the start of Pride.
Shot in various locations around Toronto as a sort of "making-of-a-documentary" (moms-to-be Athena and Lilith have a somewhat hot-and-cold relationship with the filmmakers), the story gets both hilarious and heart-wrenching as they tell their families about where the babies come from.
Incidentally, the premise isn't completely weird science: Spermless offspring have already been achieved with mice in labs, and manufactured sperm is being developed as a potential fertility treatment for men with low sperm counts.
The movie doesn't sidestep, but rather tackles with humour, the hot-button ethical issues that surround stem cell research. One of the super-nerdy scientists (a man) says something like, "People say we're making men obsolete. That's not true. We're simply making them unnecessary."
Athena's super Irish Catholic mom is appalled (to start with that her daughter is in some sort of "perverted" relationship with another woman) by the news: "These scientists are trying to steal the immaculate conception from Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour." Lilith's two gay dads (both struggling with notions of staying on the wagon for their impending granddaughters), on the other hand, think it would be super fun to make some belly casts. Athena's granny is supportive and hysterical when she attends the Pride Parade ("I just thought all the wee dingle dangles were pear shaped!").
The uniqueness of the conception plot aside, the story is relatable for anyone who has been pregnant. And because it's well-told generally, it's a good choice for all kinds of movie fans.
The movie opens today at AMC Yonge/Dundas. If you check it out, not only will you be seeing an entertaining indie film before most of your friends, you'll be helping a Canadian filmmaker to get decent distribution of a funny and thought-provoking movie.
Plus, the My Humps send-up at the end is worth the price of admission. Here's a peek: